In this study, the microwave regeneration method was applied to investigate the properties and adsorptive performance of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) in different cycles of regeneration/reuse. For this purpose, an organic and hazardous dye (Reactive Blue 19) was chosen as a widely used pollutant. N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize f-CNTs during the regeneration/reuse procedure. The morphology, specific surface area and pore volume of f-CNT samples were not significantly altered. However, the functional groups present on the f-CNTs’ surface were gradually removed after successive cycles of regeneration/reuse. A sudden decrease of adsorption capacity (about 20%) after the first cycle of regeneration/reuse was attributed to the elimination of functional groups interacting with the dye molecules because of the molecular-level heating. Relatively high regeneration efficiencies (73.30 to 80.16%) proved that the microwave regeneration method was successful. Very high step stripping efficiencies (80.16 to 98.02%) in four cycles of regeneration/reuse demonstrated that the microwave regeneration method could be utilized in consecutive cycles. After four cycles of regeneration/reuse, the CNTs could not be considered as functionalized.

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